History of Hanover

Hanover-Special Attractions and Points of Interest

Fort Charlotte

Commanding the entrance to Lucea Harbour is the well-kept eighteen century Fort Charlotte named in 1778 to honour George 11’s Queen Charlotte. Prior to that year it is listed as Lucea Fort and was constructed in 1745. It was erected in defense of the harbour and stands on a peninsular over-looking the sea channel. In 1862, the English war office transferred the barracks and Fort Charlotte as a gift to the Executive Committee of Jamaica.

Lucea Harbour

It is considered to be one of the best in the island. Although small, ships from Kingston and Montego Bay sought refuge there during the hurricane of 1951, as it was considered one of the safest harbours. It is almost completely cut off from the sea, only being connected by a narrow channel at its entrance.

THE OLD LUCEA COURT HOUSE

Situated in the centre of the town , it is now used as the Lucea Town Hall.

BLENHEIM

Located 6.4 km (four miles) west of Lucea in Hanover Hills, this is the birthplace of National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante. The Jamaica National Heritage Trust acquired this three-acre property and the birthplace of our National Hero. It was reconstructed from descriptions of the original property given by a boyhood friend of Sir Alexander Bustamante and Sir Alexander Bustamante himself.

An annual celebration of the anniversary of his birthday is held in the square in Lucea and the house in Blenheim. The site of his home has been declared a National Monument.

Lucea Parish Church

The main structure of the Lucea Parish Church building dates back to the 18th century. It was built in 1725 and is the oldest building in the parish of Hanover.  It is said that a tunnel leads from underneath the church to nearby Fort Charlotte, which is approximately ¼ of a mile away.

Kenilworth

It is approximately 9 miles east of Lucea (1mile on the main highway). At Kenilworth lie the ruins of one of the best examples of industrial architecture of the past – an old sugar factory and distillery. This is now the site for the Human Employment and Resource National Training Agency (HEART/NTA)

THE TRYALL ESTATE AND GREAT HOUSE

This can be found on the main road between Hopewell and Sandy Bay just                           bordering the golf course there. It has been maintained as an attraction with a

Golf Course and Tennis and Beach Club. It is also the site of the Johnny Walker Golf Tournament.

Still to be found on the property are nineteenth century gravestone fragments, the ruins of a sugar works including a huge cast iron water wheel that still turns, an old cast iron boiler and a beautiful brick structure chimney.

Barbican Estate

This is located along the coast. It was originally a sugar estate. It houses the remains of a Great House, a windmill and a sugar factory. The estate dates back to the early eighteenth century. Although in ruins, these buildings have maintained their imposing structure and together with the other relics add to the old grandeur of the estate.

Belvidere Estate

Although Belvidere Estate is located in the parish of Hanover, it is in close proximity to Montego Bay, the capital of St. James. The estate was once a sugar plantation that produced sugar, rum and molasses for export to England and the United States.

At present the estate is used as a citrus plantation and heritage attraction. A daily tour of the living history museum is also provided. Visitors are shown the operation of some equipment necessary for the functioning of an eighteenth – nineteenth century estate, for example the blacksmith’s bellows and an operable sugar mill furnace for the production of wet sugar.

The Hanover Museum

It is situated on the site of an old barracks and workhouse for women, that later became a prison and police headquarters. Here the story of the parish is beautifully told through storyboards, artifacts and other memorabilia donated by citizens or purchased through grant funding.

The museum grounds have a gift shop stocked with craft and heritage souvenirs, rest facilities, a café, offices for the three volunteer staff and a lecture/exhibition room. The building has been declared protected by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust that has given the Historical Society a 21-year lease on the property for a small sum.

This followed the Hanover historical Society’s efforts to save the building from demolition by proving its historic worth, indicating that the structure was around in the 1770s.

The Hanover museum is a member of the Association of the Caribbean. It has the distinction of having been recognized by UNESCO.

The Chilean Ambassador to Jamaica, Adolfo Caraft visited the museum in April 1997 and conducted a special lecture highlighting the slaves’ experience in his country. The Ambassador also presented to the museum, replicas of pieces from the Spanish period from the pre-Colombian History Museum of Santiago, including ceramics and craft items linked to the Indian culture in his country along with a gift of Chilean wine.

Unusual Place Names

Animal Hills

Home to the Hoggs, Deer and Lamb family.

BLENHEIM

Birthplace of National Hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante is a name that comes from Bavaria in Germany.

FAT HOG QUARTER

It is so named because hogs were reared there in the 1700s.

Outstanding Jamaicans Born in Hanover

Edna Manley                                    –        Wife of Norman W. Manley

Sir Alexander Bustamante               –        National Hero

Hon. P.J. Patterson                   –                Prime Minister

Hugh Small                                      –          Former Minister of Government

Seymour Panton                               –        Court of Appeal Judge

Auther Wint                                     –          Olympic Gold Medalist

Barbara Gloudon                            –          Communication Consultant

Merlene Ottey                                –           Olympic Gold Medalist

Dennis Hall                                    –           Former Journalist

Clover Thompson                          –          Former J.C.D.C. Director

Judy Mowatt                                  –            Artiste

Carmen Scott                                 –          Artiste

Wills O. Issacs                              –            Former Cabinet Minister

Dr. Lucille Mair                            –             Former Ambassador to United Nations

 

Hanover-Agriculture and Industry

In eastern Hanover, the principal crops are yam, banana, pimento, and coconuts. Askenish, Maryland, Jericho, Cascade and Medley are districts that cultivate yams on a large scale.

Hanover is famous for its yam. The varieties of yam produced are Lucea, (named after the capital town in the parish), Renta, Negro, Yellow and Sweet Yam. There are other varieties but these are produced on a smaller scale. Cocoa farming also takes place in eastern Hanover.

In western Hanover, sugar cane, yams, orchard crops and turmeric are cultivated. The curcumin content (the amount of colouring agent) of Jamaica’s turmeric is 5.4 percent, the second highest in the world. There are many small farming communities, which cultivate bananas, sugar cane, pimento, ginger and arrowroot.

Livestock

The parish makes a sizeable contribution to livestock and dairy farming in Jamaica. Eastern Hanover is the principal livestock rearing area. The town of Shettlewood is one of the better known cattle rearing areas. Other cattle farms can be found at Knockalva, Ramble, Saddler’s Hall, Burnt Ground, Edwards Dairy and Haughton Court.

Indigenous Flora and Fauna

It is said that Cascade has almost all the species of fern to be found in Jamaica. Orchids grow wild, as well as African violets, red and white ginger lilies and anthuriums – at almost 610m (2,000feet).

Agriculture

Over the years there has been a very significant increase in this field throughout the entire parish. The indirect benefit of this to tree crop production by way of fertilization and cross-pollination and the increase in the production of honey should by no means be underestimated.

The potential for establishing orchard crops in Hanover are enormous. Everything points to the success of such a venture as Hanover has:

  • The soil that is not easily eroded and tend to maintain its level of fertility under very adverse conditions.
  • The adequate rainfall that is second to the parish of Portland
  • The farmers who are easily motivated
  • The available land space
  • The ready local markets especially in the hotel areas of Negril, Hopewell and Montego Bay, in addition to out of town markets.
  • The foreign markets through local exports

Roads

While secondary roads in Hanover vary in quality, all grade A main roads are paved. A variety of vehicular traffic ranging from buses, trucks, mini-buses to private cars and taxis serve the parish that is also located eight miles from the Donald Sangsters International Airport.

Water

Hanover is served with water from large treatment plants, operated by the National Water Commission. Deep rural areas all have small systems that are treated before distribution.

Housing

Nearly half the households own the dwellings in which they live. The majority of the owner-occupied dwellings range from three to five bedrooms unit and those households that rent units tend to occupy two-bedroom units.
 

Constituency            Parish Council Division          Number of Polling Divisions            MP

 Hanover Eastern       Chester Castle                           25

Hopewell                                  28

Sandy  Bay                              29

Hanover Western       Lucea                                       27

Riverside                                  22

Cauldwell                                 23

Green Island                            24

 

Hanover-Location and Geography

Hanover’s capital town Lucea has a rustic charm of its own. On first passing through the town, one immediately knows that this town has an interesting and colourful tale to tell of glorious days in a bygone era. It is a town that is not caught up in a mad rush.

Coves and bays mark the coastline of Hanover. Perhaps the most famous of these coves is Orange Cove. A narrow strip of flat land follows the curves and turns of the gently sloping hillsides and lazy splashes of the sea. The view of rolling hills with their many shades of green – a little olive here, jade there is breathtaking.

The view from the hills is awesome. A climb up the Dolphin Head Mountain provides a wide view of the other parishes in the western side of the island. From the hills overlooking Lucea Harbour, one can get more than a 180-degree vista of the bay. Gentle waves lap the horseshoe shaped shoreline of golden sand that melts like sugar under your feet.

The world-renowned Negril beach stretches from Westmoreland into this parish. Hanover sometimes does not get credit for its beauty and charm, and suffers for being in close proximity to its larger tourism sister, Montego Bay. Many of the rich and famous tiptoe into this parish at the Round Hill Hotel and the Tryall Beach and Country Club thinking that they are in Montego Bay.

Location

Hanover the smallest parish after Kingston and St. Andrew, rounds off the northwestern tip of the island. It lies to the west of St. James and to the north of Westmoreland. The capital Lucea, is situated 25 miles west of Montego Bay (Jamaica’s second city) and midway between Montego Bay and Negril on a beautiful harbour.

Elevations

The highest point is Birch Hill (1810ft or 550.2m), followed by Dolphin Head 1789ft or 543.8m).

Geology

The soil types in Hanover range from an excessively drained reddish brown lorry and clay soil along the coastline to a well drained, moderately deep, reddish brown clayey soil in the foothills.

Coves

Numerous caves are to be found throughout the parish. Notable among these are the Clifton Cave and the Cousin’s Cove Cave. These areas provide a good pastime for the adventurous visitor. The Cousin’s Cove Cave is located 6 miles west of Lucea on the road to Negril. This cave is said to be several miles long and fresh water streams are located several feet inside. This cave contains bat manure that used to be commercially mined several years ago.

There are a number of beautiful coves on the coastline to the parish. Most important of these is the Miskito Cove, which is approximately 7 miles east of Lucea. The cove was named after the Miskito Indians of Central America who used this natural harbour as their main port of entry when raiding the villages of native Tainos. This cove has a very beautiful setting and is suitable for water sports and leisure fishing.

Waterfalls

There are four beautiful natural waterfalls in the parish. These are Paradise Falls situated seven miles south of Lucea on the beautiful paradise plantation. This fall provides an excellent past time for visitors. The other falls are the Kemshot Falls approximately 6 miles southeast of Lucea, the Dry Hill Falls situated 4 miles southwest of Lucea and Mayfield falls.

Rafting

In addition to the Riley River there is rafting on the Great River in Eastern Hanover.

Rivers

Hanover has 7 rivers. These are Riley, Great, Davis Cove, Lucea East, Lucea West, Flint and the Catabarita River that rises near Birch’s Hill, flows south into Westmoreland and winds across the plains to enter the sea in Savanna-la-mar. The Lucea East River is 14 kilometres while the Lucea West River is 12.9 kilometres

 

Hanover-History

The parish was born out of St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland on November 12, 1793. It was named for George 1, the reigning monarch on the British throne who was from the House of Hanover in Germany. He had the dubious distinction of being the first King of England who could not speak English. In fact, there was talk of naming the parish after the King’s mother. However the council would not hear of it, so Hanover barely missed being called St. Sophia. The capital town on the other hand has been known by many names – Sant Lucea, St. Lucia, St. Lucea and today, as Lucea.

In the centre of Lucea, as with all other capital towns in Jamaica, stands a clock tower. This clock was not originally intended for Lucea, however. The story is told that the clock was intended for the island of St. Lucia in the eastern Caribbean. However, the captain of the ship confused both places and “landed” the clock – a gift from Germany for the people of St. Lucia – in Hanover. The townsfolk refused to let go of the clock. They had ordered a more modest version, however they made up the difference through public subscription. A German landowner in the parish offered to erect the tower, provided he had a free hand in its design.  The clock was installed in 1817. Today, the clock, with the top of its tower in the shape of the helmet worn by the German Royal Guard, remains a landmark in Lucea.

The story is told of a Frenchman named Martin Rusea who willed all of his estate for the establishment of a “free school” in Hanover. This was done in appreciation for the hospitality shown to him by the people of Hanover when he was shipwrecked and washed ashore while fleeing religious persecution in his homeland. Today, Rusea’s school is the pillar of education in the parish. The school was expanded when it was joined with Hanover Secondary.

Hanover-Overview

The parish of Hanover is to benefit from the addition of 900 hotel rooms at the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa in Point, Hanover.  Ground is expected to be broken as soon as the requisite licences and permits have been granted. The addition of 900 additional luxury suites and other facilities, at the hotel operated by Spanish Hotel chain, Fiesta Hotel Group, is expected to provide employment opportunities for Hanover residents.

In the meantime, training is already under way in preparation for the staffing requirements of an expanded hotel.  Training of potential employees began as early as January.  Approximately 25 persons per month have been trained since the start of the hotel.

Booking

Restaurant

Nightlife